Your brothers-in-arms are hostages behind enemy lines, and you're their only hope for freedom. But the firepower you'll face to rescue them is awesome. Rescue the POWs in the buildings. You'll need a pocket full of miracles, and the ferocity of a wild Jackal.Jackal (also known as Top Gunner in its American arcade release) is a top-view action shoot-'em-up where the player must fight into enemy territory while driving a jeep in order to rescue captured allies and transport them into a rescue chopper. It was originally released as an Arcade Game by Konami in 1986, followed by a home version released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. It was one of the many military-themed action games released by Konami during The '80s alongside Rush'n Attack, Contra and the original Metal Gear.
From the attract sequence of the NES version.
Jackal features examples of:
- Acro Fatic: The first boss you encounter is a platoon of Heavy Tanks which move very fast for their size.
- Collision Damage: This one is a bit strange on the NES:
- Not only can you run over enemy foot soldiers with your jeep, they will die if they run into your jeep (even when you're not moving).
- Driving into a wall won't kill you. Driving into a boulder that has stopped moving will.
- Continuing Is Painful: Subverted in the arcade version. Your missile launcher will only be downgraded by one level when you lose a life. Played straight in the NES version, however. You will always revert back to the default grenade launcher after dying.
- Direct Continuous Levels: The arcade version takes place in one continuous stage that changes the background music the further the player progresses into the game.
- Every 10,000 Points: It costs 20,000 points to earn an extra life.
- Market-Based Title: The arcade version is known as Tokushu Butai Jackal in Japan, Top Gunner in America and just Jackal everywhere else.
- The NES version was released in Japan as a Disk System game titled Final Command: Akai Yōsai.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: A single bullet will destroy your jeep.
- Reformulated Game: The NES version version broke down the various areas from the arcade version into separate stages and added boss encounters at the end of each of them.
- Regional Bonus: The NES version received wider level designs, with an entire new stage and boss, thanks to the switch from disk to cartridge format.
- Too Dumb to Live: When you die right next to the helipad, the POWs will continue to wander around and wave for a pickup instead of going straight to the rescue copter.Arin: Why didn't he just walk to the helicopter!?Dan: Where is it!?
- Weaksauce Weakness: Throwing a Grenade OVER enemy soldiers will kill them.Dan: OH NO!! The arc of the Grenade!!